Housing Revenue Account (HRA) statistics: Scottish local authority housing income and expenditure 2018-2019 (actuals) and 2019-2020 (estimates)

This bulletin presents statistics on Local Authority housing income and expenditure in Scotland from their Housing Revenue Accounts (HRAs)statistical returns.

Key Points

Balance of HRA housing income and expendiure

  • Total HRA housing income was £1.21bn in 2018-19, of which around £656m was spent on the day-to-day management and maintenance of housing and around £277m on loan charges.
  • This left a surplus of around £234m, of which was transferred to the council's housing capital expenditure account and then invested in new build council houses and improvement to existing houses.
  • In 2018-19, rent rebate subsidy for council house tenants from Housing Benefit was £519m or 45% of total income from standard rents. This has decreased each year since 2014-15 when it was 57%.

Scottish council housing stock and rents

  • There were 311,240 council houses in Scotland as at March 2019. This is an increase of around 1,100 houses since March 2018. The number is forecast to rise to 312,540 (up 1,300) by March 2020. Average rent per house was £72 per week in 2018-19, up by just over £2.00 on 2017-18. In 2018-19 average rents ranged from £60 per week in Moray to £97 in the City of Edinburgh.
  • Council rents have increased by around 16% (£10) since 2008-09 in real terms i.e. over and above general inflation.

Management and maintenance of stock

  • Average expenditure on management and maintenance was £2,080 per house in 2018-19. Within this supervision and management costs were £810 per house, whilst repairs & maintenance costs were £1,270 per house.

Empty properties and rent arrears

  • Councils lost almost £20m due to all empty properties (void losses) on all properties in 2018-19 or 1.7% of the Standard Rental Income on these properties, about the same in the last two years but below the peak of 3.7% in 2002-03.
  • As at March 2019, rent arrears on all council properties was £74m, up around £9.0m (14.0%) on last year, representing 6.2% of Standard Rental Income from these dwellings. These arrears have been rising steadily year on year since March 2013.
  • During the same period, the number of council tenants in arrears has increased by around 2,940 tenants to 102,702 and the number of former tenants in arrears decrease by 2,180 to 30,400 as at March 2019.

Housing Debt

  • In 2018-19 councils spent around £277m on loan charges to the HRA (which includes interest, capital repayment and loan fund expenses), the same as in the previous year.
  • Total estimated council housing debt stood at £3.8bn in 2018-19 an increase of £225m (6%) on the previous year. Councils borrowed this money to improve and build council houses.


Email: Charles.Brown@gov.scot

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